Of more than 10,000 U.S. adults polled online, 41% said they typically don’t get a flu shot — even though 94% agree some people are particularly vulnerable to getting the flu or coming down with a serious case of the flu, Kmart said Wednesday. The study was conducted by the Member Feedback and Insights team of Sears Holdings Corp., Kmart’s parent company.
Kmart Pharmacy, which launched its annual flu shot program, noted that the survey also illustrated some of the common misconceptions about the flu vaccine and flu season. These myths include the following:
• “The flu shot does not protect me from the virus.” The survey found that 31% of adults typically don’t get a flu shot because they believe the vaccine won’t protect them. Kmart Pharmacy noted that the flu vaccine is intended to create a stronger immune system as well as reduce the chance of spreading the flu virus to others.
• “I never get the flu, so I do not need a flu shot.” Of those polled, 28% think getting the flu shot won’t protect others around them. Yet Kmart Pharmacy pointed out that no one is immune from getting the flu, and some people are more susceptible to developing serious flu-related complications than others, including children younger than 5, seniors and pregnant women.
• “My decision to get the flu shot only affects me.” If a person contracted the flu virus, he or she could infect family members, friends and co-workers, according to Kmart. More than half of respondents (55%) said they have missed work or know someone who missed work last year because of the flu. Sick employees are likely not working at an optimum level and can expose others to germs in the workplace, costing both fellow workers and their employer, the company added.
“Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent the seasonal flu, and we encourage families to take this important step to protect themselves,” Kmart Pharmacy president Phil Keough said in a statement. “Stop in today and visit one of our professionally trained immunizing pharmacists who are ready to administer flu shots as well as other CDC-recommended vaccinations.”
Kmart is now offering no-cost flu shots — with most health insurance plans — to customers on a walk-in basis at participating Kmart pharmacy locations, including quadrivalent and high-dose flu vaccines. Shop Your Way Pharmacy Rewards members earn points for each flu vaccination purchased. Announced earlier this year, the program gives members $10 back in points (10,000 points) for every five qualifying prescriptions filled in a rolling 12-month period.
Overall, Kmart operates 723 pharmacies in its 979 discount stores nationwide.